Book Review: If You Were Here by Alafair Burke
3 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / June 26, 2013

Jour­nal­ist McKenna Wright is writ­ing a fluff piece when she thinks she saw an old friend who dis­ap­peared ten years ago with­out a trace. Using her con­nec­tions as a for­mer pros­e­cu­tor and her investigator’s instincts, McKenna pur­sues the mat­ter in a search across New York City and finds long buried, dark secrets of those she loves the most.

Amazon’s Best Books of 2013… So Far
Latest Posts / June 25, 2013

The book editors at Amazon.com have chosen their top 10 books for the first half of 2013. 1. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can — will she? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best. 2. The Son by Philipp Meyer Philipp Meyer, the acclaimed author of American Rust, returns with The Son: an epic of the American West and a multigenerational saga of power, blood, land, and oil that follows the rise of…

Book Review: Masaryk Station by David Downing
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / June 25, 2013

This is the final book to an excel­lent series in which the author appraises post World War II Europe in a cyn­i­cal, tired, yet clear man­ner. The book is a won­der­ful intro­duc­tion to the Berlin Block­ade, told through an excit­ing story with like­able characters.

Book Spotlight: A Wife for Stephen by Valcine Brown
Latest Posts / June 24, 2013

A Wife for Stephen Genre: Christian Romance Publisher: LaChrisAnd Production Release Date: June 25, 2013 Available or purchase via:  Create Space – e-book or paperback Website – copies purchased from Valcine’s  website will be signed before being shipped. The author is giv­ing away one copy of this book to 2 winners –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. Synopsis: Do you believe that when you meet your future spouse that you will know it, instantly? Stephen does. He can’t explain it but he has always known that when he meets his intended bride that he will be able to proceed with confidence. What he hadn’t counted on is that his intended bride might not have the same revelation. Will his faith and belief in love win Celeste over? Will she even give him the time of day? After Celeste’s initial rebuff of Stephen’s attempt to get to know her, he’s not so sure. “Faith like a mustard seed,” Stephen reminds himself. Celeste had never given consideration to happily ever after or eternal love. Outside of the love she experiences from her Heavenly Father, she gives love no second thoughts. When smooth, suave, and handsome Stephen enters into Celeste’s life, without batting an eyelash or giving him a…

Author Q&A with Elizabeth L. Silver
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / June 24, 2013

Elizabeth L. Sivler wrote one of this summer’s hottest books The Execution of Noa P. Singleton and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Q. How did for the idea for the novel came about? A. In my last semester of law school, I enrolled in a class on capital punishment. As part of the course, I visited Texas’s death row and worked on a clemency petition, where I spoke with inmates and victim family members. Then, for two years following law school, I was a judicial clerk for one of the nine judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and worked on several death penalty appeals. I researched the law and examined several cases from both an advocate as well as neutral perspective and wanted to present both sides of the death penalty debate by removing the obvious questions of whether or not the person did the crime, to instead focus on the question of punishment. How does society treat its prisoners? How do we accept our own shortcomings and mistakes? How does our guilt define us? These were just a handful of issues that I hoped to explore by examining the death penalty through…

Children’s Review: Some Good News by Cynthia Rylant
Fiction , Latest Posts / June 22, 2013

During the summer vacation we encourage our children to read, and to read a lot. To our delight our daughter has really taken on to reading, she already finished several book and did her “reading response” on them. One of the books she really enjoyed is in the Cobble Street Cousins series called Some Good News by Cynthia Rylant. Please leave a nice comment to encourage her efforts. Buy this book from Amazon.com More books by Cynthia Rylant Buy this book from Amazon.com More books by Cynthia Rylant Zohar — Man of la Book *Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

Fun Facts Friday: Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / June 21, 2013

Today is the birthday of famed Brazilian novelist, poet, playwrite and short story writer Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis. The author was an advocate of monarchism and is still regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature. 1) The author was known also as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho 2) Machado was born in Rio de Janeiro which at the time was the capital of the Empire of Brazil to a mulatto father and a Azorean Portuguese washerwoman. 3) Machado went to public school but was not a good student. 4) Father Silveira Sarmento became known to young de Assis while celebrating masses and taught him Latin (and later became a friend). 5) When his mother died, 10 year-old Joaquim and his father moved to São Cristóvão. Franscisco de Assis met and married Maria Inês da Silva. 6) Joaquim studied at a school for girls, he was there because his stepmother worked at the school making candy. At night Joaquim learned French and also met Francisco de Paula Brito, a bookstore owner who helped him get published. 7) Joaquim started working in a newspaper as a proofreader while contining to write for several other newspapers. He…

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